Crimes Against Humanity: The Banality of Evil

It’s Friday night. I am getting ready for two parties and band rehearsal with my friends in the Coolerators. I made the mistake of looking at my Twitter account and after the hilarity today provided by #BestofThrowbackBlackTwitter, I chanced upon this video.

My jaw dropped because the racism is so raw and inescapable. As Chris Hayes pointed out, you’ve got Pence and Lindsey Graham looking slack-jawed at fellow human beings in CAGES!!!!!! The fact that the men in cages are men of color leaps out at you. Hayes notes the cowardice of Pence, Mike Lee, and Graham who do not even talk to the CAGED men of color.

EJS is spending this year Remembering1619, the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving at Jamestown. At our legal forum at the Federal Building where one must pass the photos of The Great Leader and his assistant, my best friend and brilliant legal scholar, activist, and attorney, Shauna I. Marshall reminded all present that the only way the captured Africans and their descendants could be raped, sold, and beaten was for those who enslaved us to see us as “less than”—less than human, without human feelings or emotions, more akin to animals than human beings.

Seeing those CAGED Latinx men reinforced the reality that Trump, Stephen Miller, Pence, Graham, and maybe 35% of our fellow Americans do not see undocumented people as human. What else could explain the banal disinterest evident in this video? I think of images of Nazis from back in the day oblivious to the enormity of their collective crimes and sins!!! Listen to the guard speaking of guard towers where they can quickly spot those who are unruly and isolate them. Shades of the stalags. Lord have mercy.

Fortunately, last week was filled with images of outraged people taking to the streets to call for the abolition of ICE and for the release of people from CAGES!!!!! That gave me hope. We are not Good Germans. There are other signs that dawn is slowly breaking. We fully expected The Great Leader to defy the Supreme Court regarding the Census. We won that victory. I fully expected Alex Acosta to remain in the Cabinet alongside the President who has been credibly and repeatedly accused of sexual assault. Hell, he bragged of it on the Access Hollywood tape before he distracted us with the shiny objects that were the WikiLeaks dumps. But her emails!!!

I really just want to rest and relax but we must speak up and speak out. My ancestors demand that of me. My touchstone for much of my activity in these dreadful times is “What should I have done in the early days of Hitler?” I hope I would have spoken up and denounced the evil and the madness. That is all I can do on a Friday evening near midnight.

Don’t Mourn. [Resist, speak out] Organize.


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